In the fall semester of 2021, Pacific University is expected to return completely to in-person classes. With this comes a couple of adjustments, according to the dean of the college of arts and sciences, Sarah Phillips. First, the option to study remotely will no longer be available and secondly, students must be vaccinated before they arrive on campus for the fall. Yet, this push for in-person classes doesn’t mean that things are going to be completely back to normal.
“Our goal is to be back as close as pre-pandemic as we can be. I don’t think any of us imagine that it is going to be one hundred percent pre-pandemic. So the Oregon Health Authority Higher Education Commission will have rules that we have to follow in the fall,” explained Phillips.
The Commission hasn’t yet released them out to Pacific yet, but Phillips predicts that these rules will still have limits on the size of gatherings and require precautions such as masks in certain settings.
The general reaction among students is a sense of relief and joy that classes will be moving back to in person. One of these students is sophomore and kinesiology major, Katrina Chen. She was glad that Pacific was moving back to all in person classes, and explained that she does much better in person than online. She also supported the requirement of having to be vaccinated to return to campus as well.
“I like that they have to be vaccinated because it’ll help with stuff like herd immunity, even if we all are still wearing masks, because we can’t exactly control what the people around Forest Grove are doing,” said Chen.
Another student that was among those who supported the change was sophomore and biology major, Danny Tellez.
“I honestly think that it’s fine to me. The first semester we did online was not great. Honestly, it felt supremely easy to pass a class. Some of my final exams were almost a joke because of how simple they were,” explained Tellez. Tellez also elaborates that because it was so much easier than normal, it didn’t feel like school, it was much more difficult to stay motivated and engaged in classes, and it was harder to recall any information from previous classes taken during the pandemic.
Excitement for the fall semester is on the rise as students across the board are ready to move past the struggles of online learning and get back to a sense of normalcy with in-person classes. — Kaleb Makimoto
Photo: Marsh Hall on Pacific’s campus (Kaleb Makimoto)